Right before dusk, I started a walk down a path in a park. I knew it was going to get dark before I made it to my destination and back but I went anyway. As the darkness set in the trees and bushes that lined the path lost their detail and became shadow. Perhaps it is the lack of visual stimuli that heightens our sense of hearing in the dark or it’s a prehistoric defense mechanism. Regardless, I heard basically every sound that came from the trees and bushes. In this particular spot, more than likely all that was lurking in the shadows was some squirrels and possibly a groundhog. Despite that fact, I was very aware that I wasn’t “alone”. The shadows conceal so many things. Most of them mean us no harm but since we can’t identify them easily, it’s easy to fear the worst. The simple answer for my stroll through the park is to go earlier. The more complex problem is that there are things lurking in the shadows at all times.
We’re all carrying around things that are not put in the spotlight. On a subconscious level, we know that they’re there but either can’t access them or don’t want to. Often they are brought out into the open by circumstance or mistake. I don’t really think that our psychological baggage is out to get us. More often than not, the idea is to protect us from something by hanging out on the periphery. When it gets brought into the light though, it needs to be dealt with in some way. The first options of fight, flight or freeze are available and probably end with the issue returning to the shadows and not much changes. Curiosity and gratitude are great antidotes to so many negative emotions. Obviously a bear sized issue may require professional assistance. However even then, this is your life! Scars, pock marks and all! If there is an entire shadow world where you just don’t go, that’s choice to be made. However, it might be worth a look to see if there is some real estate that you want to develop.
Seeing past our own worldview and problems is extremely difficult. When the dust of the past gets kicked up in your face, it’s easy to get disoriented and act rashly. Perhaps sweeping up some of that dust from the past is the next step. The mental image that i have is of my brother working at the garbage company where we both worked. His job one summer was to sweep up the dust from the dirt parking lot. A broom, shop vac and other things were used. It was hilarious! Unfortunately his daily slog was not fun and gained him the nickname “Dusty”. Regardless of what you do with the dust, it belongs to you. You can leave it alone with the knowledge that it may get kicked up again. Shadows, dust, caves, closets, etc. there are so many places to hide things from ourselves. I don’t know that we can clean it all up but there’s certainly some work that could be done.
Shine the light on some of those shadows!